More than 250 massive screws are poised to be drilled into the side of a Moray cliff to protect a village from future landslips.
Mud and rubble plunged down the cliff at Portknockie after a deluge poured through the streets of the community in September 2017.
Next week work will begin on a £1.7million project to ease concerns of a similar situation, which left some homes perched on the edge of an abyss, from happening again.
Yesterday engineers from Moray Council and contractors Morrison Construction were in the village to answer questions about technical aspects of the scheme.
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And last night campaigners said the plans appeared to be “worth the wait”.
Rob Barsby, chairman of Portknockie’s flood action group, said: “It’s good to see gullies have been thought of too to take the water away from the drains because one of the big problems was that the sewers couldn’t cope.
“Something like that should at least cope with the backing up problem that we had at the time.
“It looks like they’ve come up with a very logical solution. It looks like it has almost been worth the wait.”
The project will involve engineers from Morrison Construction descending down the slopes above the harbour to drill about 260 huge screws, some as long as 20ft, into the cliff face at six at-risk locations.
The hole will then be filled with cement to try and maintain the integrity of the soil before being covered over by earth to make it invisible from the street.
An emergency access road to the harbour will also be created after the initial landslips caused a group of tourists to be trapped by the port when the existing route was smothered in mud.
Initial estimates conclude that the work should be completed by the end of July.
Keith and Cullen councillor Donald Gatt said that the sight of work beginning on the slopes next week would come as a relief to many in the community.
He said: “I’m very glad we’re at this stage now because people have been worried about this for some considerable period of time.
“I get calls on a fairly regular basis from people in Portknockie who have been concerned about more landslips but thankfully they’ve been false alarms. It’s good to see it being taken forward now.”
Will Burnish, a flooding engineer at Moray Council, said: “We were very impressed with Morrison Construction’s project and design solution to get the problems resolved.”